A butterfly activitist drugged and strangled her previous stepfather after finding nude shots of herself on his personal computer, prosecutors alleged.
Thomas Merriman’s overall body was found in January 2021, underneath a pile of trash at the Solana Beach front, Calif., house he shared with stepdaughter Jade Janks.
The murder trial of Janks, 39, an interior designer who co-launched the analysis nonprofit Butterfly Farms, commenced this week in Vista Remarkable Court docket.
She has pleaded not responsible to killing the 64-year-old Merriman, who prosecutors explained died of an overdose of sleeping pills Janks gave him immediately after she learned the photographs — a person of which he reportedly used as his screensaver.
“This was no accident,” San Diego County Deputy District Lawyer Jorge Del Portillo mentioned, in accordance to The San Diego Union-Tribune. “This was murder by layout.”
The pictures were taken more than a decade in the past, consensually, by Janks and her boyfriend, authorities explained. It’s unclear how they came into Merriman’s possession.
Janks identified the images whilst she was cleaning her stepfather’s condominium, who had been hospitalized, Del Portillo added.
She texted with a further guy about providing Merriman the drugs, prosecutors contended.
“I just dosed the hell out of him. Stopping for whiskey then at Dixieland to stall. LMK,” Janks allegedly texted the working day she picked Merriman up from the medical center, according to Del Portillo.
Janks looks to 2nd guess her program in one more text information the prosecutors shared.
“He’s waking up,” a single alleged text browse, in accordance to NBC San Diego. “I genuinely never want to be the just one to do this.”
“I am about to club him on the head as he is waking up,” another read.
Janks at some point referred to as one more man or woman for help, reported prosecutors. That man or woman known as the authorities the up coming working day.
Deputies then searched the home and observed Merriman’s human body underneath a pile of containers, blankets and other trash as they were being leaving.
Lawyers for Janks, the argued that Janks did not get rid of Merriman, who as an alternative died from inadequate wellbeing and “his possess cocktail” of prescription drugs.
“You will not discover any proof that he was strangled to dying,” Janks’ attorney, Marc Carlos informed the jury.